ISO 9001 Training Requirements

Reviewing confidential files, training records, human resources files

Question:
Are there specific training requirements for professionals (i.e. university graduates) in respect to ISO 9001-2008?  Are there any specific records that need to be kept on these individuals?

Response:

Good Morning,

This is an interesting question as it can be perceived as simple and that a short answer would be sufficient.  However, in the interest of ensuring a ‘full’ answer, I will mention a few things about:

  • Qualifications
  • Records

Let’s begin with qualifications. You asked if there are specific training requirements in respect to ISO 9001-2008. I will give you a yes/no answer. To be more specific, YES; everyone in an organization pursuing ISO compliance needs to be trained regarding their individual responsibilities. (See 6.2.2 Competence, training and awareness)  This includes ensuring they are “aware of the relevance and importance of their activities and how they contribute to the achievement of the quality objectives” (6.2.2d).  6.2.2e follows by saying you must “maintain appropriate records of education, training, skills and experience.”
I recommend that you read that entire clause and take note of the fact that it begins with “The organization shall”.

As for the Records, keep in mind that these are relatively normal Human Resources records. For example; if you have a machinist on your team, you would have records showing what schooling and/or training he/she has had to qualify for that position. That would also show what they can do in helping the team toward compliance.

Note it says in 6.2.2b that you are to provide training where necessary. For example; Someone completely new to the ISO standards would need to be made familiar with them and with their responsibilities. You would, of course, have records of such training.

Now, about the word “professionals” in your question.  I am guessing that you are referring to your Quality Assurance (QA) or Quality Control (QC) personnel as well as the Management Representative (MR).

Section 5.5.2 of ISO 9001:2008 make it more than clear what the responsibilities of the MR. There is a lot there. However, the single requirement stated there is that your MR ‘shall’ be a member of the organization’s management. That is because this person must be able to make decisions, apply resources, and generate necessary changes in the company with reference to the QMS. They must also be in a position to let Top Management know where the company stands in quality and what, if anything, needs to be revised.

I personally would recommend that any/all individuals you have in a position of Inspector be required to complete the study and training necessary to pass the exam for ASQ Certified Quality Inspector. It would be beneficial for your MR to acquire certification via ASQ as a Certified Quality Technician. These are not ISO requirements. However, the study and/or training for such would help them to be better prepared and qualified to lead your team to successful ISO 9001:2008 compliance.

Thank you for contacting ASQ with your questions.

Bud Salsbury
ASQ Senior Member, CQT, CQI

Some additional ASQ resources:

ASQ re-certification and in-house training requirements

Q: In our corporate audit department, we have a number of individuals that are ASQ certified.  What standards do we need to adhere to in order to provide in-house training that qualifies for ASQ re-certification units?

A: You asked ASQ about standards for granting re-certification units (RUs) from in-house training. There are two main concepts here:

  1. Training must cover some part of the affected certification body of knowledge or be taken for job enhancement.
  2. Every hour of contact time equals 0.1 RU.

Body of Knowledge (BoK). The training topics must cover some part of the certification BoK. This is pretty liberally interpreted. Each certification has a booklet, available for download from the ASQ web site, showing its BoK as an outline of topics. Make sure the training will support one or more of these topics.

Contact time. A one-day course is typically 6-7 contact hours, which would equate to 0.6-0.7 RUs. You cannot count lunch (unless it is a working lunch) or break times – just actual training.

Records. Most people receive a certificate of completion at the end of the training class. It shows name, date, course title, contact hours (or RUs), and person granting the certificate (need not be signed). The employee makes a copy of all these certificates and includes them in the re-certification journal/logbook. Pay particular attention that the date of the class is within the dates of the three-year ASQ certification.

Dennis Arter
ASQ Fellow
The Audit Guy
Columbia Audit Resources
Kennewick, WA
http://auditguy.net

Qualifications for QMS staff training position

Q: I work at an environmental testing laboratory company with facilities in California.  We are certified to ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9001-2008: Quality management systems – Requirements ISO/IEC 17025-2005: General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories and are pursuing certification to  ANSI/ISO/ASQ E14001-2004: Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use.

We are attempting to hire an assistant quality manager (AQM) whose primary function will be staff training on the quality management system.

We have identified an excellent candidate in Ireland and are attempting to secure a work visa for her in order to come to the United States and join us. The folks at the Immigration and Naturalization Service are demanding that we write a job description so that they can somehow justify bringing her into the country.  One of their requirements appears to be related to having a bachelor’s degree in education in order to fulfill the training function. In addition, they are demanding that we prove that this is an “industry standard,” namely, having an education degree in order to become a training manager.

My question for you is: is a bachelor’s degree in education a normal requirement for a quality training position? If so, can you offer any guidelines in terms of companies or types of firms that may have this requirement? If not, what can you tell me about normal background or education requirements necessary for the AQM – the training position that I am considering?

A: The short answer is no — a degree in education is not a normal industry requirement. I believe the Immigration folks are confusing this position with a school teacher who is required by most states to have a teaching certificate. One of the requirements for most teaching certificates is an education degree from an accredited college or university – the so-called “normal” schools.

An education degree is not normally required and usually not desired in industry.

It would be much better to emphasize the quality knowledge aspects. It is quite common for candidates to have one of the ASQ certifications, such as ASQ Certified Quality Improvement Associate certification (easier) or the ASQ Certified Quality Engineer certification (very hard).

Dennis Arter
ASQ Fellow
The Audit Guy
Columbia Audit Resources
Kennewick, WA
http://auditguy.net